Bachelor ESB | Deschutes Brewery

very good
122 Reviews
Bachelor ESBBachelor ESB

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alc. by Vol.: 5.3%
IBUs: 50

180 calories per 12 oz serving

Added by BeerAngel on 08-25-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 122 | Ratings: 191
Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap. Pours hazy, dark brown in color with 3/4 inch head. Taste is toasted malt, caramel, biscuit, dark fruit, and light citrus--orange hops. Taste is slightly bitter with medium body and carbonation. Good and tasty example of the style.

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Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Deschutes brewpub in Bend.
Clear copper body with a very good head.
Mild aroma of sweet malts and Light hops. Mildly bitter.
Medium body and lively carbonation.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark gold in color, 1" of white head. Nice in the lace/retention department. Aroma was noble hobs, british yeast.

Taste was substantially bitter for style, plenty bready to go along with it. Biscuit like malt notes. Residual sweetness. Hops are there, but not providing much in the way of flavor, this gets it from all sources and nothing dominates. Dry finish. I get a 6er of it every other year or so. Decently priced.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very subdued, clean, easy-drinking, decidedly American version of an English bitter (not quite of ESB proportions)... arguably the most enjoyable of their lighter offerings

A: light golden-amber, slight chill haze, yet later clearer.... small amount of spitty foam clinging round the collar.... looks like a pleasant drop

S: clean aromas... mild pale malt with a slight toasty, cereal tone... very-lightly daisy-like floral (hoppy?) tone but the malt is most present... some light golden bread crust

T: very light caramel up front, immediately followed by a nearly moderately-bold dry-grass flavor from the hops.... just bitter enough to take notice, nice balance... the caramel flavor carries through and is merely in flavor, not sweetness

M: quite crisp and clean (perhaps a little too...) but not without a lovely mild honeyish roundness kissing the tongue.... could've used a bit more of that roundness - considering how it drops off fairly dry, there'd be no danger in giving it a lil more body

O: tried quite a few of their beers in the 3 visits I made to the pubs - this definitely stuck out - something that anyone could enjoy, something with some memorable character

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Photo of Kegatron
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask, via hand pump, @ the Deschutes Brewery & Public House (Bend, OR) on 9/1/11. Served in a pint glass. Called "Bachelor Bitter" here, which I'm assuming is the same beer as this.

Pours a clear golden copper, with roughly a finger or so of bright-white head. This retains with some frothy edging, leaving back a good bit of sticky foamy lacing dotting the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of freshly baked biscuits (with maybe even a touch of sweeter caramel as well) and earthy citrus that gets a touch bitter feeling across the back of the nostrils. A light grassiness floats on the edges a bit.

The taste is sweet toasted grains, with a splash of butter and some light earthy bitterness. The finish is fairly dry feeling with a smidge of lingering spice. The mouthfeel is lighter to medium bodied, with smooth creaminess to the carbonation that just drinks effortlessly here on cask.

This isn’t going to blow you away flavor-wise but it’s definitely flavored enough, and the cask conditioning nicely melds the flavor here and just gives this an all around kick-ass drinkability. I’d always be good for a pint of this if I saw it here on cask. Nice stuff.

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Photo of harrymel
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by: 05JUL11

A: Pours a toasted caramel ale with a single finger of yellow soapy head which falls in a few minutes to a broken sheet of the same. Excellent clarity. Rings of lace.

S: Creamy and sweet with good earthy bitterness. Slightest hint of oxidation (but this is expired, so I can't dock for that).

T: Extra bitter, and earthy. Definitely english in nature, with earthy and soily hops and the yeast is bready.

M: This is medium bodied, but lacks a certain 'bounce' I feel with most ESB's. Carb is low end of moderate.

O: Good, but not great. Pretty decent. And likely a bit of Homer in my grading as Deschutes is one of my favorites.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back in the day this beer was my gateway to bitters and hops. Haven't tried it in over a year so I thought I'd review it and see if my palette has shifted.

12oz bottle to Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Pours a chill-hazed copper color with hints of red amber. There is a nice fingers worth of frothy off-yellow head that sticks nicely to the glass.

S: Whoa, lots more malt than I remember. There is a nice toasted bread quality to the malt, with some hints of spice and caramel. The hops are mixing through the nose as well, with hints of grassy, floral bitterness and maybe (if one stretches the imagination) wisps of grapefruit.

T: Right in line with the nose, the first things you notice as you taste is the biscuit quality of the malt and the tinge of toastiness, followed by a drying bitterness that slowly encompasses the whole mouth.

MF: A good malt backbone makes this beer feel medium bodied. The finishing dryness is nice.

O: Not as hop forward or bitter as I remember, but still a tasty malt-forward beer. I don't quite know how it holds the line to the style though.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the restaurant in Bend.

This beer appears clear medium ruddy amber hue, with one finger of thin foamy white head, which leaves some random streaks of stringy lace around the glass as it falls away. It smells of mild bready malt, and leafy hops. The taste is bready, faintly biscuit malt, and earthy, leafy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium-light in weight, and fairly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the breadiness persisting.

What we have here, seemingly, is a decent amber ale. It needs a fair bit more biscuit edge and noble hop bitterness to slide into the ESB zone.

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Photo of Dunkelhund
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While I do not typically go out of my way for ESBs, especially those that are already familiar to me, I had gone a long time without this beer until recently. Today I had an urge to revisit it yet again, because the character of this beer was calling to me.

It is exactly what I was wanting: a very well-balanced and hearty beer with a solid malt character and a clean, fresh hoppiness.

It looks good in the glass, with a full creamy head and a rich color just on the amber side of copper. It smells nice and clean with an aroma on the more earthy side of citrus, almost grassy. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy and the body is not-too-light. The malt is earthy and biscuit-like and satisfying without being too heavily pronounced.

This is the kind of beer I could enjoy many of in one sitting. Thanks for reading, and Cheers!

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a standard one finger head in length, the head is slightly off white, but just barely. Mostly big bubbles in the head, but there are a fair amount of small bubbles underneath that. Decent lacing throughout the glass. The head isn't hanging around too long, but it's not going away completely, something that I have found common in Deschutes beers. The body is a cloudy dark orange color, very little visibility through this beer. The color is unique, a little dark for the style, but I don't really care. The carbonation looks just about right. Overall the look is pretty impressive. On the smell, it's pretty malt based, very small hop note in there, but that works for the style. Does it smell good? Yeah, great? Not at all, pretty standard. You can tell the malts will taste good, but still, not an amazing smell. Maybe it's just the style I'm not a fan of, but the smell is only ok for me. I expect this to be a solid beer, just not my thing, but I'll give it a fair chance. Yeah, not my kind of beer here, I have had better ESB's though, so I'm a little confused here, overall it's not bad, but not too great either. The alcohol is a little too prominent in this beer for only 5.3%, the hops are very minute and the malt is just not the type I like. All over it's just not very balanced, and it's kinda all over the place. The alcohol is probably the most dominant factor really, which is never good. Then after the alcohol it's just a random mixture of malts and small hops. I'm trying to rate this beer in terms of the style and I think that it's just messing with my head. As far as a beer goes - it's just not that great for me. A little sour, which is unwanted, and the carbonation adds to the weirdness. Despite all these flavors it does have some watery characteristics to it. It kind of tastes like a mix between a scotch ale and a IPA. It's a very weird beer, and perhaps it's just the style, but like I said I have had better ESB's, so I dunno. Mouthfeel is decent, it's big enough to support the style, and the carbonation is right. Drinkability is ok, but these weird flavors for sure don't help. Overall I'm very confused with this beer, and I'm sure I'm just over thinking things and confusing myself, but only to some extent, it's a very weird beer. With all that being said, it's still not a terrible beer, I'd drink it again, but only if nothing else was available. Strange beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was very, very nice. Rich and hazy golden yellow in color it came roaring out of the bottle and easily filling the entire glass with rich bubbly foam that melded seemlessly into the bubbly, grainy base.

The aroma was light, lots of grain and light spice with a smooth, mellow and light fruity hint that popped up toward the finish. Smooth mellow flavor with a n even cosistency. My only knock is it came off as more of a mild ale to me as the hop flavor was not really too high and not much in the way of bitter flavor. Easily drinkable though as no real heavy feeling or flavor.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another addition from one of the old notebooks. Brought back to us from Oregon by my (ex-)wife's uncle. Poured a nice amber color with a little light tan head. Aromas of light hops, sweet malt and caramel. On the palate, this one is medium bodied, with citric hops, caramel and sweet malt.

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Photo of HugePlume
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to find this in my area, its not that common outside Oregon so I picked up a 6er. 12oz bottle marked with drink by July 2011.

A- Poured with a thin head, maybe too light of a pour? Some lacing retention but not much. Color though is a beautiful deep copper.

S- When first poured, a weak nose, not much there at all. Maybe too cold? As it warms, some grainy malt and just a faint hint of fruity hops.

T- All malt here for the most part, starts as a dry grainy malt and evolves into a sweeter cereal flavor. Hops really only manifest in a bitter fashion.

M- A bit on the watery side, carbonation is slightly lighter than would be expected. Does leave a nice malty residue on the teeth.

O- I'm dissapointed I have to say. Deschutes normally crafts devine brews, but this comes up short. Its above average, but not to the level I expect from Deschutes, I love a good ESB too, it may be my favorite style. Needs a little punching up. Since I can't find this locally and there are some other good local ESB's around it might not be a bad thing.

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Photo of jsh420
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

best by 02-08-11

pours clear amber copper with a 1 finger head with good retention and left spotted lacing

smell is not too strong bready caramel biscuit malts
with some fruity hops

taste is very close to their ipa without the citrus hops on the end and lighter - biscuit malts with just enough hops to not make it a cloying mess

moutheel light body low carbonation - smooth and creamy

drinkability is great - while i might be a huge fan for this style i could drink this beer for an entire session

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Photo of kwjd
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Deschutes brewpub in Portland. Pours a copper colour with thin white head, leaving small patches of lacing. Smells of earthy hops and caramel malt. Flavour has very mild bitterness. Nice carbonation level on this. An easy drinking beer, but no where near the level of many of the other beers on tap at Deschutes.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden darkness, lots of head, always good retention and lacing from Deschutes. Aroma was brisk and British if I may, husky.

Taste was actually pretty bitter for an esb, assertive, bready. One of the heavier esb's I've had, almost chewy biscuit element to it, plenty of sweetness. Hops delicare and sparingly used, very dry yeast aspect though mixing with the heavy malt/breadiness I was talking about, even though it is big, it isn't necessarily simplistic, it has plenty of nuanced character.

For some reason these aren't distributed as much as they used to be. Probably the most drank esb in my lifetime. Anderson Valley, close second I'd guess.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate orange-copper color with a nice white head and a pretty good amount of lacing. The nose has some light malt as well as some floral and earthy hops. The taste strikes a nice balance between the hops and malt, with the mouthfeel surrendering to a bit of bitterness. Drinks quite well and this would be one nice brew to have locally.

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Photo of industrialswill
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's got a deep amber color, thick sand colored head.
Smell of malt and hops.
Nothing too special or out of the ordinary upon first taste. Tastes like an ale made with quality ingredients in generous quantities. Somewhat hoppy, definitely not a bitter beer, but it has a nice hoppy bite.
Very drinkable and very good overall.

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Photo of yeoldeale
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Like clover honey. A very thin head with very little lacing.

S: Mildly sweet smelling. Malts with a hint of hops.

T: The malts and hops are very well balanced. Just touch of bitter at the end.

M: The mouthfeel takes me by surprise a bit because it is fuller than you'd expect. I like it.

D: Overall a very well balanced beer. Very good.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tumbler.

Thanks to hopsbreath and the Support Your Team! BIF for this bottle!

Do they make Married Man DESB? (Do they even make double ESBs?) Regardless, this brew pours a mostly clear reddish-amber topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises grass, flowers, light orange peel, and light slightly blackened biscuits (they were only left in the oven a few seconds too long). The taste is very similar, though the bitterness (mostly from citrus hops eliciting a sensation of orange peel) is stepped up to a greater degree. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth, wet feel. Overall, a nice ESB that lives up to its third letter.

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Photo of sdawson
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bachelor ESB poured an impressive dark amber with significant red undertones from the bottle that I purchased at a local Portland store. The head was modest, but present, with good lacing. I was somewhat less drawn to the scent of this one when compared to many of the other reviewers -- it seemed a bit flat for my tastes, with an acetic, lemon smell accompanied by faint pine and other resins. The mouthfeel and taste are much more rewarding with a bold, yet balanced carbonation, and predominant flavors of grapefruit, dry herbs, and malts.

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Photo of GarrettMD
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a nice orange hue with 1 finger white foamy head with very good retention. Lacing is minimal. A good amount of bubbles are visible in this beer.

S - A nice bready/malty aroma is noticeable up front. Some floral hops are also there. Very simple aroma, but good all the same.

T - That malt taste is very prominent up front. Good balance of bitterness with the hops. The flavor of the hops doesn't come out as much but there is a slight taste of the floral hops but the bitterness is definitely more noticeable. Some slight caramel tastes work their way into the finish. Still simple like the aroma, but still just as good.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth, no drying finish, leaves a nice malt aftertaste.

D - Very good drinkability, at 5.3% this is a nice beer to go through a few of in a sitting. Will definitely get again.

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Photo of BDJake
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- clear reddish copper topped by a pinky of off-white head, good lace

S- bitter hops up front, with balance from the bready malts- yet not very prominent

T- bitter initial taste, wish a healthy dose of biscuity malt to keep it in check

M- light bodied, moderate carbonation, with lingering bitterness

D- a worthy offering from deschutes, but not my favorite by far

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Photo of grittybrews
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a deep red-orange into a Chimay chalice. About a finger of head that dissipated quickly. Some delicate lacing.

Pleasant citrus and floral aromas. Fairly thin in the mouth, not overly carbonated. Some distinct malty bite at first. This quickly faded into a deceptively watery finish that expanded into a lingering grapefruity bitterness. Pretty drinkable, although the bitterness on the finish might grow to be a bit much after a pint or so.

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Photo of jdense
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle from local Slaveway poured into Deschutes pint glass 4.18/10.

One finger white small-bubbled head, medium dissipation with significant lacing. Clear copper body with significant carbonation rising from bottom of glass. Caramel malts dominate the nose balanced by floral hops. Malt forward taste profile, some breadiness, a bit sweet, with a bit of hop bitterness on the back end, nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, decent effervescence. Really drinkable at this ABV, very sessionable, tasty, worth a try. Another winner from Deschutes.

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Bachelor ESB from Deschutes Brewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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